Ivory Coast's Gervinho gets two-game ban for Cup of Nations red card

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea (AP) — Ivory Coast forward Gervinho was given a two-match suspension Wednesday and will miss the rest of the group stage at the African Cup of Nations.

The Roma player was given a straight red card on Tuesday after hitting Guinea midfielder Naby Keita during the second half of a 1-1 draw.

Because of the nature of the incident, the African soccer federation decided Wednesday that Gervinho would have to sit out the team's two remaining Group D matches. Despite playing with 10 men after the red card, the Ivorians managed to equalize.

Earlier Wednesday, Gervinho apologized for his actions. He wrote on Twitter that he wanted to say sorry to his country, his teammates, fans and tournament organizers for his "angry gesture."

The reaction was "not like me and has no place on the football field," Gervinho wrote in French.

After he was shown the red card, Gervinho dropped to his knees on the field, punched the turf in frustration and began arguing with the referee.

One of the favorites at the tournament, Ivory Coast still has to play Mali and Cameroon in Group D. Cameroon and Mali also drew 1-1 in their opening game.

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